As we move through Advent, Mark McCormick offers the reflection for the 2nd Sunday. He observes, ”Have you noticed that people started decorating early for Christmas this year? Seems like we have all been longing for a reason to celebrate. So why not get an early start, especially after the frightening reality we have all lived these 22 months since COVID took hold. ”
Continue reading Mark McCormick’s Reflection & a Parish Update for the Second Sunday of Advent
As we enter Advent, Eleanor Rabnett offers our Sunday reflection. In it, she shares: “It can be very easy to think of Advent as being nothing more than a short time of preparation for Christmas itself, but – is that all it is – a prelude to Christmas? Advent is the emergence, the surfacing of something new. Advent accentuates the beginning of our liturgical year that re-announces the birth of Jesus, and in that light then it is no longer just a countdown.”
Continue reading Eleanor Rabnett’s Reflection & a Parish Update for the First Sunday of Advent
As we reach the end of our liturgical year, Andrew Pump offers the reflection for the Feast of Christ the King. In it, he explores the concept of truth, what the term would have meant in biblical times and how ideas around truth evolved through Church history — from the evolution of the Church’s teachings on perceived ideal forms of government to the changing view of, and relationship with the Jewish people. Andrew shares:
“Pope Francis’ papacy is another great moment to challenge our assumptions of God and truth, and let the unconditional compassion and love of God soften our hardened hearts and institutions…” Continue reading Andrew Pump’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the Feast of Christ the King
Raphael Amato offers the reflection for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. In it, he shares:
“How will we find our way forward when the known guideposts that lit our path no longer shine? Where do we go when it seems as if darkness is all around us and it feels that God is nowhere to be seen? Or God’s name is being used to sow division and distrust.
There is a hidden invitation in Jesus’s words; that is to be attentive and to choose to focus on what is essential, to be more attentive to my call as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus to be a healing and active presence in this world.
While things are falling apart, it seems that there is a tendency to turn in on ourselves or to be positive and be solution focused. I see this in my work a lot, where people are proud because they are solution focused and not problem focused. Rather than just to find solutions too quickly, I think that we are being called to ensure that each person is heard — not to jump ahead and divide who is right and wrong. Being positive does not mean painting a rosy picture and denying the pain and suffering, but rather believing that we have the capacity to rise together and choose how we want to move forward.
The first action I believe is to read the signs collectively, and to listen to each person — to share their read of what is occurring.
Each small action has a collective impact; it is not just the policy makers, or governments or experts that need to solve this. We need to decide to be in the middle of this and show how we can walk through this by developing a collective wisdom that entails a listening to the earth, the animals around us and to all living things.” Continue reading Raphael Amato’s reflection and a parish update on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Joseph’s Parish Pastoral Council has committed to making Reconciliation our pastoral focus this year. As part of this commitment, the Parish hosted an evening gathering with Donna Naughton, Executive Director of Kateri Native Ministry, on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in our church. We had the opportunity to listen and to learn about Kateri Native Ministry’s work in the area of healing and Reconciliation. In particular, we learned about the Kendaasawin Program, which brings Indigenous awareness to communities and individuals, and supports healing through an embrace of both Traditional and Christian heritages. Continue reading A St. Joe’s evening of listening and learning with Kateri Native Ministry
In his reflection for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, our Pastor, Fr. Jim Bleackley OMI, shares:
“The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love. Also, let us ponder Jesus’ warning about how one’s abundance can blind a person to the present condition of global society, where injustices abound, and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and often exploited by a system that favours the rich and powerful. Let us examine our hearts to see if our self-reliance makes it difficult for us to stand in solidarity with the poorest of our brothers and sisters.” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the reflection for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary time, John Rietschlin shares:
“Today’s gospel passage ends with Jesus saying to the scribe “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Would Jesus say that to me today? To each one of us here? This week, I invite each of us to take a few moments to reflect on that question. How are we living the two greatest commandments? How are we loving the Lord our God? How are we loving and respecting God’s creation? How are we loving our neighbor? Then, let us give thanks for the grace that we each receive to grow in love.”
Continue reading John Rietschlin’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the book A Pilgrim’s Almanac, Edward Hays shares:
The Feast of all Saints is a day to celebrate all saints, including the unknown saints whose names are not mentioned in the Holy Hall of Fame of the Church. This is a day to recall that we are all called to be holy. Pray today that someday in the future this will be your feast day too. November 2nd is the Feast of All the Holy Dead. It is a day to remember those you loved who have passed through the doorway of death. Take time today to prayerfully recall those family members, friends and significant people in your life who have died.
Continue reading All Saints’ & All Souls’ at St. Joseph’s Parish
In his reflection on the Gospel narrative of Bartimaeus as presented in Mark, Fr. Jim shares an experience with a guest of the St. Joe’s Supper Table.
“Let me tell you my story about being blind and the gift of perception I received. As you know, during the pandemic the St. Joe’s Supper Table had to change the way they cared for the poor who come to our doors. Instead of an evening meal served indoors, they began to provide take away meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. This generous service drew many people to the parish every day, and even had a few who decided to find a place of refuge on the empty spaces around the parish.
One individual was not only homeless, a drug addict, and a hoarder but also had a mental impairment. Many times, when I would come to church early in the morning, I would find him spreading all his belongings from one end of the parking lot to the other. Usually, my efforts to have him pack up his things and suggest he find another spot only resulted in both of us becoming frustrated and impatient with one another which would make me feel very troubled and bothered. In a way I felt like the people in today’s gospel who tried to hush the shouting blind beggar when he asked Jesus for help.
As I wrestled with my guilty feeling about my lack of care, I found myself wondering why I saw this stranger as a problem to be dealt with rather than a brother in need. Talk about having your eyes and heart opened. It was a grace moment that when we encountered one another in the same situation, it allowed me to approach this unique individual with dignity and respect, a brother in need and not a problem to be solved. I have learnt his name, have taken time to hear his story and I worry about his safety and well-being. Like Bartimaeus, his poverty is a challenge and a call for me. ” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Calling people of faith, in solidarity with all of creation, to connect ‘with earth for earth’ in the urgency of this moment in earth history. Continue reading Release the energy of our love for earth and surround the UN Climate Conference (COP26) with prayer